Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the humble unsung hero, the rotisserie chicken. Dress her up or dress her down, she’s always recipe ready! Like a lot of people, I can’t resist grabbing one of Costco’s famous chickens whenever I’m there, and I’ve developed read more
This Brussels Sprouts Salad is a surprise star on our menu. While everyone likes brussels sprouts that have been fried with bacon and showered with cheese, people rarely seem to clamor to eat them raw. But finely shredded in a creamy dressing, they are a revelation. Plus this Brussels Sprouts Salad is loaded with goodies like candied oranges, toasted pine nuts, and crunchy coconut chips. It’s a healthy salad that tastes totally indulgent, and what started as a special item quickly became a customer favorite and is now permanently on our menu.
Brussels Sprouts Salad Dressing
Every great salad starts with a great dressing. And this one manages to be both creamy but light tasting. Seasoned Rice Vinegar brings a tangy sweetness, and a bit of fish sauce adds a funky pop. A little good old fashioned mayo creates the creamy base. This dressing is highly flavored and it should be used sparingly. Resist the urge to load it up like a coleslaw. I use half of it on the salad/slaw first, taste it, and then add some more. You could always pass the remaining dressing at the table too for those who can’t get enough sauce.
Prep the Veggies
The secret to this Brussels Sprouts Salad/Slaw is to very finely slice the sprouts. If you have a food processor with a shredding disk that will make quick work of it. Otherwise this is good practice of your knife skills…
I always remove several outer leaves because I find them too fibrous for a salad. It’s not necessary to core the sprouts but look over the sprouts carefully. Little critters also love Brussels sprouts and I sometimes find them lurking inside. You can tell they’ve made a home if you see pin holes or evidence of chewing.
Combine all the veggies in a big bowl and thoroughly mix. This makes a generous batch but it keeps well. You can also halve the recipe if you don’t think you can consume the full amount.
Brussels Sprouts Salad Garnishes
The real magic of this salad lies in the garnishes. The dried oranges are so sweet and delightfully chewy, the coconut adds an unexpected tropical vibe, and the pine nuts add welcome crunch. This combination works so well; I’ve been told by more than a couple people, it’s the reason they order the Brussels sprouts. If you find the toppings difficult to source, get creative and it will still taste great. You can substitute orange flavored craisins for the orange, different nuts for the pine nuts, and some crunchy trail mix or fried shallots for the coconut.
The dressing is assertive, so start by adding half to the salad and tasting to see if you want to add more.
I love it as a light lunch, as a potluck item, or to serve at a barbecue. If you want to make it part of a full meal, it’s perfect served with:
Make this Brussels Sprouts Salad and find out why it’s such a favorite with our guests. And then take a moment to rate and comment on the recipe below. And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I used low fat)
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Seasoned Rice Vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- ½ pound brussels sprouts
- 1 medium carrot
- ¼ red onion
- Small handful cilantro (about ¼ cup)
- 2–3 pieces candied orange slices
- 3 Tablespoons roasted coconut chips
- 3 Tablespoons pine nuts
Make the dressing:
- Combine the mayonnaise, fish sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, ground black pepper, and granulated garlic in a small container.
- Whisk to combine and set aside.
Make the salad:
- Trim the brussels sprouts at the base and peel off a couple of the outer leaves. Slice the brussels sprouts as thinly as you can and place them into a colander. Wash the brussels sprouts and drain thoroughly. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Peel and trim the carrot. Slice thin and then stack the slices and cut through them to create thin strips (julienne cut). Put them into the colander and wash and rinse. Drain and put the carrots into the bowl with the sprouts.
- Peel the onion and then thinly slice. Again wash the onions and drain thoroughly. Place them into the bowl with the other vegetables.
- Toss the salad ingredients in the bowl so everything is nicely mixed.
- Roughly chop the cilantro.
- Slice the candied orange into thin strips and then cut through the strips to create a very fine dice. Set the oranges aside.
- Pour half of the dressing over the brussels sprouts and toss to coat. The dressing is strong so you may not need all of the dressing. Taste the slaw and add more dressing as needed.
- Mound the slaw onto a plate and garnish with the oranges, cilantro, pine nuts, and coconut chips.
*You can substitute any kind of crunchy coconut and nut/seed trail mix, clusters, or topping instead of using the coconut chips and the pine nuts.
*If you have problems sourcing the orange slices, try something with an orange flavor such as orange flavored dried cranberries.
Keywords: brussels sprouts, vegetarian, plant based, salad, slaw,
My mom’s uncle was Michio Kushi, the famed macrobiotic guru. She came to Boston in the early 70s to get a taste of America. At the time, my father, who was always restless in Japan due to his eccentric ways, was cooking in his kitchens. For those of you who are unfamiliar with macrobiotics, let me summarize it for you. The macrobiotic diet hails from Zen Buddhist philosophies and believes that you can achieve harmony and balance within the body through the foods that you eat. The emphasis is on eating whole, unprocessed, local, and seasonal foods. All dairy, sugar, and most meats are not allowed. It is a restrictive way of eating that is difficult to follow unless you can dedicate a lot of time to cooking or find a restaurant that specializes in this diet.
And from there came our first restaurant in Coconut Grove, Florida: a Japanese macrobiotic restaurant in 1977. Many decades later, none of our restaurants are macrobiotic, but one recipe still remains. It has spawned numerous copy cat recipes across South Florida restaurants and now I’m about to give it to you. It’s the original Sesame Dressing from Su-Shin Japanese Restaurant which has not changed since it was first made. Sesame Dressing takes just a few minutes to make, and with only 5 ingredients, it is the poster child for clean eating.
What’s in This Dressing?
The funny thing about this Sesame Dressing is that people always call it ginger dressing, even though there is no ginger in it. It is similar to the Carrot Ginger dressings that are popular in American Japanese restaurants, but this version is much more mellow and creamy. It really lets the salad ingredients shine. This is one of the few dressings that does not have vinegar or some kind of acid and can be used to season other steamed veggies, fried foods, and even bowls of rice, which I have seen on hundreds of occasions. Moreover, there are people every day who ask for bowls of it and drink it like soup. I know, pretty extreme, but this is good stuff.
Toasted sesame seeds are a must for this dressing. They impart a really rich, nutty flavor. I am able to easily find toasted sesame seeds at my grocery store, usually near where they sell packaged sushi. You will need a high speed blender to properly pulverize them though. This dressing has a delightfully creamy texture, so we don’t want any grit from partially blended seeds. Do not substitute raw sesame seeds as the flavor is totally different. And unfortunately, tahini cannot be used as a substitute either.
If you cannot find toasted sesame seeds, it is very easy to toast them yourself. Put the sesame seeds in a sturdy frying pan. Then over medium low heat, keep moving them around the pan until you smell a rich toasty aroma and they turn a deep golden color. It will take about 5-7 minutes. Do not rush and crank up the heat as they burn easily.
A Couple More Ingredients
First I roughly chop the carrot and half an onion. Ratios are important in this recipe. Since I don’t want any one ingredient dominating the flavor, I weigh the onion and carrot to make sure I have the right amount. “Half an onion” can vary wildly. Once I have them measured, I throw them into the blender. Then I add the toasted sesame seeds.
Next comes the wet ingredients-the soy sauce, water, and oil. I like to use avocado oil because it has a very neutral flavor, and contains healthy fats.
A good blender should be able to transform those simple ingredients into a rich, creamy, velvety dressing in just a minute or two. Check to make sure all the seeds are thoroughly blended. If you see stragglers, blitz it for another minute.
Then just pour it into a clean jar and refrigerate. It should yield 2 cups. Knowing I have this in the fridge makes me excited to eat salads. Its clean, bright flavors complement any number of seasonal salads and raw veggies. You can even use it to jazz up simply grilled fish or chicken. Use it to change up the flavors of my Wild Mushroom Salad. However you use this Sesame Dressing, I know you will love how easy, delicious, and versatile it is. Once you’ve drizzled it on top of your favorite salad, rate the recipe and leave a comment below, and tag us in your gorgeous photos @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- ½ large onion, 5 ounces
- 3 peeled medium carrot, 4 ounces
- 3 ounces roasted sesame seeds, ¾ cup
- 2 fl ounces soy sauce, 1/4 cup
- 2 fl ounces water, 1/4 cup
- 8 fl oz neutral oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Roughly chop the carrots and onions and place in a blender.
- Add the sesame seeds, soy sauce, water, salt and oil.
- Blend on high for 1-2 minutes until smooth and thick.
- Refrigerate and use within 3 days.
*I highly recommend a scale to weigh ingredients so the proportions are correct and because there are so few ingredients.
*You need to use a high powered blender to get the correct creamy consistency for the dressing.
*This dressing works best with greens and vegetables that have a delicate, neutral, flavor. I would not recommend this for salads with arugula, kale, celery, etc.
*Use this dressing within a couple of days for best flavor.